superimpose architecture builds MICR-O as a rural learning centre in china

superimpose architecture builds MICR-O as a rural learning centre in china

inside the chinese rural valley of tai yang , west of hangzhou, the sun commune is a local initiative raising awareness on sustainable farming and promoting healthy living and outdoor activities for the increasing urbanization. within the sun commune, superimpose architecture studio designs MICR-O as a learning platform for city dwellers in china

all photographs © marc goodwin



the valley, with bamboo and rice fields, is home to one hundred local farming families. therefore, sun commune initiates a bottom up strategy to sustain farmers while promoting organic food production and with the contribution of superimpose architecture, it further extends as an education platform for city children. throughout the year, kids from hangzhou and shanghai will camp and learn about nature at the MICR-O centre which allows them to be part of a rural micro-community.

MICR-O created as a learning center for city children



defined as a white canvas ‘ring’, MICR-O includes a central outdoor patio that offers an enclosed platform for learning activities and events. on the other hand, the interiors house  a camping accommodation subdivided into segments by three entrance points. meanwhile, the external corridor blends with the surrounding bamboo forest – offering an alternative circulation route while activities are happening in the central patio.

one of the three entrance points to the interiors



the learning centre is realized as an elevated structure, keeping the ground nearly untouched. even more, the structural A frame – a ninety-degree angled triangle – gives the design an externally pure shape while internally, the patio opens towards the sky and surroundings. the construction is an example of time and cost-effective design, specifically with the simplicity of  the repetitive ‘A’ frame that creates a bold gesture in the valley.

children walking along the circular framework



in the process, on site workshops and physical models were used by the architecture as communication tools to teach local villagers how to realize the design. until this day, the team is still involved by organizing architectural workshops for villagers and visiting kids to show their constant support for the sun commune.

the interiors are designed as a camping accommodation

local pinewood was used as a main structure and floor decking

construction technique was both time and cost effective

the center is located in the tai yang valley in hangzhou, china

plan view – exterior framework

plan view – interior layout

detailed section



project info:

project team: carolyn leung, ben de lange, ruben bergambagt, mika woll
design: superimpose architecture
client: sun commune

site: tai yang valley, sun commune, lin’an, hangzhou, china
site area: 2800 sqm
GFA: 243 sqm



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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